Thank you to everyone who contributed such delicious recipes for our gluten-free Thanksgiving challenge. My goodness, people! Not only did the original bloggers who posted about their own gluten-free baking challenge blow me away, but the hundreds and hundreds of links to great gluten-free food in the comments could keep anyone baking for months on end.
If this is your first gluten-free Thanksgiving, there is no need to suffer. None at all.
However, I know that a number of you out there have problems with dairy, as well as gluten. Others can’t eat eggs. Some of you are vegan by choice. Trying to bake without gluten, dairy, or eggs can be daunting.
That’s why we’ve made you some pumpkin pie.
GLUTEN-FREE, DAIRY-FREE, EGG-FREE PIE DOUGH (and still mighty delicious)
Danny and I spent much of this fall trying to come up with gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free dishes for Thanksgiving. Pie was top of the list. For me, Thanksgiving just isn’t the same without pie.
I’m happy to report that not only is this pie crust great, but it may be my favorite pie crust of all the ones we have baked. It’s flaky without crumbling, layered with taste, and holds up well to the pumpkin filling. When Danny’s parents visited us recently, we served them some of this pie. After eating an entire slice in pleasure, Danny’s mom turned to me and said, “Do you remember that pie you made for us two years ago for Thanksgiving? This one is 200% better.”
If you want truly flaky crust, make this dough the way you would make a rough puff pastry. Starting with a shaggy dough, then folding, chilling, rolling out, folding, and rolling out, then chilling before putting rolled-out dough into a pie pan makes a super-flaky crust, light as air. However, since it’s just before Thanksgiving, I put the much easier version here. Later you can perfect your crust.
Feel free to substitute the fats of your choice. I tried coconut oil here but I just didn’t like it. The coconut oil melted in the crust, making it run. And also, the pie tasted like coconut, which didn’t thrill me. I’ve been told that palm oil, which I have not worked with yet, is great in vegan baking. Perhaps you can tell us what works best for you?
For the filling, I used this recipe. Other than being a bit heavy on the molasses (I would probably cut it out next time), this filling was delicious. I like the idea of using a simple syrup for the sugar, since that thickens the filling without using eggs. I might just do that for our Thanksgiving dinner this week.
2 ounces sorghum flour
2 ounces corn flour
2 ounces potato starch
3 ounces sweet rice flour
1 teaspoon each xanthan gum and guar gum
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces vegan buttery sticks (we like the one by Earth Balance)
2 ounces Crisco
3 ounces water (approximately)
Put the sorghum flour, corn flour, potato starch, and sweet rice flour into a large bowl. Whisk the flours to make them one flour. Add the xanthan and guar gum and salt.
Cube the buttery sticks and Crisco into 1-inch pieces. Lay them gently on the flours. Put the bowl in the freezer for 15 minutes.
Working quickly, take the bowl out of the freezer. Using a pastry blender or your hands, work the fats into the flours, coating the fat. Stop when the fats are the size of peas. Don’t go too far. You still want to see the fats in the flours.
Pour the water onto the mixture. Stir gently with your hands. You are looking for the flours/fats to be just wet enough that it will stick together when you pinch it. You might need a tablespoon or two more water, depending on the day. If you add a bit too much water, that’s okay. It’s better than a dry dough.
Bring the dough together into a ball. Flatten it, gently, into a disc. Wrap this in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour before working with it again.
Put the dough out of the refrigerator. Lay down 2 pieces of plastic wrap (you can also use wax paper or parchment paper), then put the disc of dough on top of the plastic wrap. Cover the disc with enough plastic wrap to be able to roll out the dough into a 10-inch circle.
Roll out the dough, from the center out, gently.
When you have rolled out the dough into a large circle, lift up the top layer of plastic wrap. Gently lift the pie dough and fit it into a 9-inch pie pan. Settle it in gently. Don’t stretch or push it around too much.
Don’t worry if the dough breaks. Take small pieces of the dough and fill in any holes, smoothing the dough with slightly moistened fingers. Crimp the edges of the pie dough.
Put the pie pan in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Put a buttered piece of aluminum foil onto the bottom of the pie dough, nestling it gently against the sides. Fill the foil with dried beans.
Bake the pie dough at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Remove the beans and aluminum foil, carefully, then return the pie dough to the oven again, for about 8 minutes this time.
You now have a blind-baked pie crust, ready to finish with pumpkin filling.